What is Botox?
Botox is a derivative of bacteria that has been processed into a purified protein. The overall effect of a Botox injection is to relax muscles.
How may Botox injections be used for pain?
Botox is perhaps best known as an anti-wrinkle treatment and for its use in treating spasms around the eye, muscle imbalances in the neck, and eye wandering. Since 1989, Botox injections have been used successfully and safely to treat various types of pain. These include myofascial pain, headache, back pain, and neck pain.
What is involved when I undergo Botox injection treatment?
Botox injections, which are minimally invasive, are administered in your doctor’s office or at the hospital. The treatment takes just a few minutes. During treatment, Botox is injected directly into the muscles or area from which the pain is emanating.
The procedure is performed using a small needle. Depending on the area being treated, an x-ray device that provides real-time images may be used to make sure that the specific area targeted for treatment is being accessed.
What results can I expect?
You can expect the muscles responsible for your pain to relax and for the pain to diminish or be eliminated. The results of your Botox injection will usually last from two to four months, with some patients reporting pain relief lasting as long as six months. With pain relief achieved, you will also begin physical therapy in order to stretch and strengthen the muscles responsible for the pain.
How long before I experience the effects of my Botox injection?
After treatment, you may feel additional discomfort or pain for a few days. Within 10 to 14 days after treatment, the effects of the Botox will begin to manifest as muscles relax and pain eases or is eliminated.
Are there any risks involved?
Botox injection is a low-risk procedure. Most side effects or complications are experienced for a finite amount of time, and they may often be evaded by utilizing correct injection techniques. Some patients experience numbness or a burning sensation during the injection, as well as dizziness, headache, or nausea
Side effects may include swelling and/or bruising in the region of the injection and heightened pain for two to three days after the treatment. Ice packs and ibuprofen will usually help to reduce these side effects.
There’s a small risk of infection and sometimes, in rare occurrences, over-relaxation may be experienced. This effect reverses itself over a period of time. Also, for three to five days after treatment, patients sometimes experience a syndrome that is flu-like. This situation usually resolves on its own without any need for additional treatment or medication.
How is the Botox injection prepared?
The Botox injection is a mixture of botulinum toxin and saline or a local anesthetic. Using a small needle, this mixture is injected into the affected muscle area. Anywhere from five to ten injections are made. While you are receiving your injections, the doctor will request that you contract the muscle that is being treated. This helps the physician accurately administer the injections.
Will my insurance cover Botox injections for pain?
If there is a rational reason to use Botox for pain management, then most insurers will approve the expense. However, it may not be approved in some cases. Thus, it’s important to check to see if your insurance provider will cover the expense, and, if not, weigh the benefits versus the cost. The results that Botox offers patients, which includes a reduction in pain, increased quality of life, and the ability to engage in the activities that you love, are difficult to cost out.